The contest is now open. I strongly suggest you scroll to the previous thread to read all the rules carefully so you don’t disqualify yourself. Only entries in this thread will count. The contest closes when “It’s Go Time!” is posted tonight around 6:30. DO NOT DREAM OF ENTERING TWICE.
The winner, assuming there is one this time, gets two tickets from our generous donor, to the Feb. 19 game against Columbus.
Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:
NEW YORK RANGERS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Thursday, Feb. 9, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden — New York, NY
Rangers: 33-13-5 (71 pts)
Lightning: 23-24-5 (51 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Feb. 7
The Rangers will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.; TV: MSG Network; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio), to conclude their three-game homestand. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank second in the league overall, with a record of 33-13-5 (71 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the New Jersey Devils, 1-0, on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, and are now 16-5-1 in their last 22 games. New York has posted a record of 30-10-3 since Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Lightning enter the contest with a 23-24-5 (51 pts) record to rank 12th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost two of their last three games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Wells Fargo Center (1:00 p.m.), in the first game of a back-to-back weekend set.
RANGERS vs. LIGHTNING:
* All-Time: 38-29-5-6 overall (21-13-2-4 at home; 17-16-3-2 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the third of four meetings this season, and the second and final at Madison Square Garden. New York is 1-0-1 overall (0-0-1 at home; 1-0-0 on the road) following a 3-2 shootout loss on Dec. 8 at MSG. The Rangers have out-scored the Lightning, 6-4, in two games, including a 3-1 advantage in the third period. The Blueshirts have held the Lightning scoreless in five shorthanded situations, and have tallied one shorthanded goal in the season series. Artem Anisimov leads the Rangers in scoring with two goals and three points, while Brad Richards and Derek Stepan have recorded a team-high, two assists and three points apiece. Henrik Lundqvist is 1-0-1 with a 1.92 GAA and .930 Sv% in the series.
* Last Season: New York was 0-2-2 overall (0-1-1 at home; 0-1-1 on the road). Each of the four contests were decided by two goals or less, including three that were separated by one goal and two that required extra time. The Blueshirts notched two shorthanded goals in the series, from Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust. Derek Stepan led the Rangers with two goals and three points in the season series, while Boyle tallied a team-high, two assists and three points. Henrik Lundqvist posted a record of 0-2-2 with a 2.97 GAA and .891 Sv% in four games.
* The Rangers are 8-3-3 in their last 14 games against the Lightning
* Each of their last six meetings were decided by two goals or less, including four that were separated by one goal and three that required extra time
* Henrik Lundqvist has started each of the last 26 games against Tampa Bay, dating back to Nov. 10, 2005
* New York ranks ninth with a 16-6-2 (34 pts) record at home; Tampa Bay ranks 26th with an 8-16-3 (19 pts) mark on the road
* The Rangers are 10-2-1 vs. the Southeast Division; the Lightning are 5-7-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
* New York lists three former Lightning on their roster: Steve Eminger (2008-09); Ruslan Fedotenko (2002-03 – 2006-07); Brad Richards (2000-01 – 2007-08)
* Tampa Bay lists three former Rangers on their roster: Matt Gilroy (2009-10 – 2010-11); Adam Hall (2006-07); Dominic Moore (2003-04 – 2005-06)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. LIGHTNING:
* Henrik Lundqvist — 26 GP, 14-7-5, 2.09 GAA, 2 SO
* Martin Biron — 19 GP, 10-7-2-0, 2.66 GAA
* Marian Gaborik — 13 GP, 7-6-13
* Ruslan Fedotenko — 22 GP, 8-2-10
* Brad Richards — 5 GP, 2-6-8
* Marc Staal — 15 GP, 3-4-7
The Blueshirts penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 14 of the last 18 games (46-50, 92.0% over the span), and is 71-79 (89.9%) with five shorthanded goals in the last 27 contests. The Rangers are tied for fourth in the NHL with six shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 16-1-2 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 24-6-2 when not allowing a power play goal.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in three power play attempts (6:00) on Tuesday vs. New Jersey. New York is tied for 27th overall (23-176, 13.1%) and 17th at home (15-94, 16.0%). The Rangers are 2-12 (8:51) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/23 vs. PHI), and 1-6 (8:52) when four-on-three (last – 2/1 at BUF). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 12/5 vs. TOR (Steckel); 12/8 vs. TBL (Moore); 12/17 at PHX (Korpikoski).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered one goal to the Devils in four power play attempts (4:54) on Tuesday at MSG. New York ranks fifth overall (149-171, 87.1%) and seventh at home (64-74, 86.5%). The Rangers are 6-7 (4:07) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/1 at BUF), and 1-2 (1:39) when three-on-four (last – 2/1 at BUF). Shorthanded goals for (6): 10/20 at CGY (Prust); 12/8 vs. TBL (Anisimov); 12/10 at BUF (Hagelin); 12/10 at BUF (Callahan); 12/20 at NJD (Hagelin); 1/6 at PIT (Dubinsky).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Tuesday vs. New Jersey. The Rangers are plus-four in 52 four-on-four situations (96:29), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (4): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi); 1/2 vs. FLA (Gaborik). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).
The Rangers have played eight of 14 scheduled back-to-back sets this season. New York has posted a record of 6-0-2 (3-0-0 at home, 3-0-2 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 6-1-1 (4-0-0 at home, 2-1-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 27-9-3 in the second game of back-to-backs, with a 13-3-1 mark at MSG and 14-6-2 on the road over the span. Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 56 times in his career, posting a record of 35-14-7 with a 1.82 GAA, .935 Sv% and six shutouts in the second game. The Rangers’ next back-to-back set is Feb. 11 at Philadelphia and Feb. 12 vs. Washington.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Rangers’ 16-6-2 (34 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 24 games since 1995-96 (18-2-4, 40 pts).
The Rangers’ 4-2 win at Tampa Bay on Dec. 3 marked the first return visit to the St. Pete Times Forum for Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella, and forwards Brad Richards and Ruslan Fedotenko, as members of the same organization since they won the 2004 Stanley Cup Championship as members of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Fedotenko notched the Blueshirts’ first goal of the contest, and Richards registered two points (one goal, one assist) to record his first win in Tampa as a member of an opposing team. In 2003-04, Tortorella guided the Lightning to a franchise record 46 wins and 106 points to win the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach. Richards led the league with 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 23 playoff contests to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP that season, and Fedotenko tallied both Lightning goals in their 2-1 Cup-clinching victory over Calgary in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
PLACE IN HISTORY
The Rangers’ .696 win% through 51 games is the team’s best start in 18 years, when the 1993-94 Blueshirts began the season with a 34-13-4 record (.706 win%), and is the fourth best start in franchise history. *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
Henrik Lundqvist posted a career-high shutout streak of 182:33 from 19:11 of the second period on Jan. 21 at Boston to 12:02 of the second on Feb. 5 vs. Philadelphia. He posted shutouts in consecutive starts for the first time in his career, on Jan. 24 vs. Winnipeg (22 saves) and Feb. 1 at Buffalo (34 saves, 4-5 in the shootout), and passed Dave Kerr for second on the Rangers’ all-time shutouts list with 41 career shutouts. Lundqvist ranks seventh among active goalies in career shutouts, and is one of only two NHL goalies with 40 or more shutouts since 2005-06 (Martin Brodeur – 42). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
The Rangers rank among the NHL leaders in several statistical categories…
* T-2nd in points (71)
* 1st in win% (.696)
* T-2nd in wins (33)
* T-1st in regulation/overtime wins (30)
* 1st in fewest regulation losses (13)
* 1st in fewest goals against (99)
* 2nd in GAA (1.94)
* 1st in hits (1,508)
* 5th in blocked shots (850)
* T-3rd in +/- rating (plus-38)
* T-3rd in goal differential (plus-38)
* This is the latest the Rangers have been in first place of the Eastern Conference standings since the 1995-96 season, when New York held the top position through games played on Mar. 15, 1996 (NYR game #68). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
* New York has registered at least one point in 33 of their last 43 games (30-10-3), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark
* New York is 10-1-2 when leading after the first period and 20-0-2 when leading after the second
* The Rangers are tied for fifth in the league with a .231 win% when trailing after two periods (3-9-1), and their three third period comeback victories are tied for 10th in the NHL; New York has trailed entering the third period in 13 games this season, which is the fewest in the league
* New York leads the NHL with a .773 win% when out-shooting their opponent (17-5-0)
* The Rangers lead the league when scoring first, posting a 24-1-2 mark (.889 win%) in those contests; Their 24 wins are tied for second in the NHL
THE HOT LIST:
* Henrik Lundqvist is 4-1-0 with a 0.97 GAA, .963 Sv% and two shutouts in the last five games
* Lundqvist has allowed one goal or less in 11 of his last 19 games, and has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 27 games this season
* Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in eight of his 12 starts this season
* Marian Gaborik has tallied nine points (three goals, six assists) in the last nine games
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in the last five games
* Brian Boyle has tallied three points (one goal, two assists) in the last five games
* Artem Anisimov: 3 points from 100 NHL career
* Steve Eminger: 5 points from 100 NHL career
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) — 27
Total Man-Games Lost: 163
* Feb. 2 — Assigned defenseman Jeff Woywitka and forward Wojtek Wolski to Connecticut (AHL) for a conditioning stint
* Feb. 3 — Acquired forward Casey Wellman from Minnesota in exchange for forward Erik Christensen and a conditional seventh round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft